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Oil and gas is key to Colorado’s growth

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

A new study shows that in 2012 oil and natural gas development generated over US$ 200 million for Colorado schools, supported nearly 94 000 jobs in the state and created over US$ 23 billion in state economic activity. Kyle Isakower, API Vice President for Regulatory and Economic Policy said, ‘thanks to innovations in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, Colorado is playing a leading role in America’s energy revolution. For state leaders, including the governor’s commission, it’s important to understand how vital energy is to the state’s economy, and how much local schools, taxpayers, and workers benefit from responsible energy production.’

The report

The report, commissioned by the API, was conducted by the University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds School of Business. The report examines the state’s oil and natural gas sector county by county, including associated revenue streams for schools, roads, parks, healthcare etc.

Brian Lewandowski, researcher, University of Colorado said, ‘over the last few years, Colorado has grown as an energy producer, and that has had a measurable impact on employment, wages, and funding for schools and public services. Most of the actual production occurred in just five counties, but new business activity associated with energy, management, engineering, financial, was distributed across the state, creating jobs that pay about double the state average.’

An example

For example, in 2012, La Plata County experienced US$ 1.1 billion in economic activity that can be associated with oil and natural gas developments, according to the report. The county’s local energy industry supported 1350 direct jobs, US$ 116.7 million in wages, US$ 12.6 million in tax revenues. The county’s school districts, such as Bayfield and Durango, relied on oil and natural gas to generate 48% and 32%, respectively of property tax proceeds.

Overall, the study found that Colorado’s 31 900 direct industry workers earned US$ 3.2 billion in labour income in 2012. The industry generated over US$ 410.3 million in government revenue, including more than US$ 141 million directly to country property taxes.

Edited from press release by Claira Lloyd

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